An addiction is a chronic dysfunction of the brain system that involves reward, motivation, and memory. It’s about the way your body craves a substance or behavior, especially if it causes a compulsive or obsessive pursuit of “reward” and lack of concern over consequences.
Someone experiencing an addiction will:
- be unable stay away from the substance or stop the addictive behavior
- display a lack of self-control
- have an increased desire for the substance or behavior
- dismiss how their behavior may be causing problems
- lack an emotional response
Over time, addictions can seriously interfere with your daily life. People experiencing addiction are also prone to cycles of relapse and remission. This means they may cycle between intense and mild use. Despite these cycles, addictions will typically worsen over time. They can lead to permanent health complications and serious consequences like bankruptcy.
That’s why it’s important for anyone who is experiencing addiction to seek help. Call 800-622-4357 for confidential and free treatment referral information, if you or someone you know has an addiction. This number is for The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They’ll be able to provide more information, including guidance on prevention and mental and substance use disorders.